First up, the annual Christmas morning photo on the stairs at 7 am (yes we had to wake the big guys!)
And then new for 2021...Covid tests for all!
All negative - a Christmas miracle :)
Then it was time to move to the living room...
It's so fun being a parent!!! Here's proof...
|Unrelated photo of some family fun.|
Me: What's that?
Declan: You know, Pope Yes, where they have chicken sandwiches.
Me: You mean Popeyes?
Declan: Oh that's how you spell Popeyes?
Brendan (age 5): Mom! Xander is being so hypocritical!
Me: (Trying not to laugh that my Kindergartner uses the word hypocritical) What's he doing?
Brendan: He is just so sarcastic and then he told me that I'm sarcastic, and that's being hypocritical!
Xander (10): Mom, babies come out of their mother's belly buttons, right?
Xander: Then how do they get out?
Me: Welllll, moms have a special hole where babies come out.
*tries to find an actual hole to crawl into and get out of this conversation*
Maggie (14): Wait, how many holes do I have??
Me: Maggie, we need to talk.
JP (age 18): I'm worried about my first semester grades.
Dad: It's an adjustment period, grad schools will understand, and you will bring them up next semester.
JP: My Advisor said I need to get all As to get into a PA school.
I guess I might just have to go to medical school and become a doctor instead.
Xander (10): Today I saw my old teacher and she walked the other way to avoid me.
Me: I'm sure she just didn't see you.
Xander: Oh, she definitely saw me. I'm the reason she quit!
I haven't talked about this yet, because it's hard and it's not my story to share, but with permission here it goes...
My wonderful dad, 81 years young, was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis earlier this fall. You can read more about the disease here. Sadly, his brother, Tom, and my mom's brother, Jack, both died of this same disease a few years ago and although my dad doesn't have a specific prognosis yet, he has started needing oxygen and gets out of breath quickly just doing normal activities. The doctors have put him on an immunosuppressant because his symptoms seems to be progressing quickly and they are hoping that maybe this can slow the progress. Because of the immunosuppressant, neither he nor my mom are able to leave the house, for fear of catching any viruses, and visitors need to be masked and stay socially distanced. Luckily, we live above my parents condo and can help them with errands and visit with them often. My siblings all do likewise and it certainly shows the blessings of having a large family in times like these. I'm sharing this to ask for prayers for my dad and also because I recalled an essay that JP had submitted last year for a college scholarship. The essay was to be written about an Irish American Who Made a Difference and to be honest, we wrote it together because he didn't know the full story (I would have felt slightly guilty if he had won the scholarship but he didn't) so without further ado...the story of our favorite Irish American...
What My Irish-American Grandpa Has Taught Me
By: John-Paul Martin
My grandfather, John Sweeney, immigrated to America from Letterkenny, Donegal in 1960. As he likes to tell the story, he had $50 in his pocket, hopes of a better future in his mind, and the love of a girl in his heart.
John was born the twelfth child to Andrew and Jeannie Sweeney on July 9, 1940. Andrew was a gardener and Jeannie stayed home to take care of all the children. Money was always tight, food was simple, and personal space was scarce. John grew up sharing a bed with three of his brothers and attended trade school in order to start working young. When John was 17 he left Ireland and moved to Scotland hoping to apprentice with a ship building company but was unsuccessful. Instead, he worked as a conductor on a double decker bus before moving back home where he was able to find work as a welder in a foundry.
One evening, John attended a dance and saw the most beautiful girl in the world, Maggie Kane. Maggie’s parents had lived in Donegal, moved to America where she was born, and then back to Ireland. Maggie had stayed in America to live with an Aunt and finish her schooling as a nurse. She was back in Ireland to visit with her family for the summer. John couldn’t take his eyes off of her and asked her to dance multiple times before she finally agreed. He fell in love with Maggie but learned she was already spoken for, having an American fiancé back in Massachusetts. Maggie returned home to her life, and John quickly decided he was going to move to America to start building homes with his brother Tom, who had already immigrated a few years earlier.
|John and Tom Sweeney|
Happy St. Lucy's Feast Day!
Five years ago today, Phil met our puppy for the first time. She was a 4 month old Goldendoodle named Lady and we had been searching for almost a year to find her. We were not allowed to rescue a dog because at the time we had a baby, a cat and a backyard not fenced in. Yes, better to leave a dog in a shelter without a loving home than to give it to a family that *gasps* has to walk the dog on a leash instead of opening their back door.
|Much better than a fenced-in backyard.|
I shouldn't be bitter that we were denied a rescue, because we ended up with the bestest purebred doggy in all the land, renamed her Lucy Doodle Martin, and surprised the kids on Christmas Eve. Lucy's the kind of dog that makes you never want to get another dog because it would only be downhill.
At my new job (how long can one consider a job "new"? Is it as long as losing the baby weight - Nine months on, nine years off?) we have been playing the 10 Days of Christmas, where every workday between last week and this week, there has been a fun activity planned, such as a cookie swap, a wine exchange, a crazy sock day, etc. We also are each assigned a day to bring in a small gift for our coworkers' stockings...so every day I get a gift added to my stocking and we will open them at the Christmas Luncheon at the end of this week. We don't have to participate, because every holiday party has a Scrooge, but why wouldn't I? So fun!
This weekend, I made Hawaiian Fried Chicken, after catching an episode of Cook's Country. Instead of flour, you use Potato Starch so it's gluten free and super crispy and delish! I sang Mele Kalikimaka while cooking, of course. We doubled the recipe and used 2 lbs. of chicken breasts and 2 lbs. of chicken thighs and the breasts won in my family's taste preferences. I guess we know what kind of men I am raising.
And finally, JP is home for Christmas break! We are all under one roof again and it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I hope you all are feeling it too.